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"Mystery" remains of homicide victim found in 1982 identified as those of former O'Jays guitarist Frank Little Jr.

Skeletal remains found nearly 40 years ago have been identified as those of a guitarist who once played with the R&B group The O'Jays and also co-wrote a few of their songs, investigators said. Authorities used DNA and genealogical research to identify the remains of Frank "Frankie" Little Jr., which were found in a garbage bag in a wooded area behind a business in Twinsburg in 1982, said Summit County Medical Examiner Lisa Kohler.

A clay model of a skull found in 1982 in Twinsburg, Ohio (left) and a photo of Frank Little Jr. from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. DNA Doe Project

Recent research and testing from the DNA Doe Project led to the identification of Little after a close relative provided a matching DNA sample, CBS affiliate WOIO-TV. reported.  

"There were distant DNA matches that were from South Carolina that we reached out to and they were willing to help out and provide family trees," Detective Eric Hendershott of the Twinsburg Police told the station.

His death has now been ruled a homicide, but who killed him remains unknown, she said.

Little, who was born in Cleveland in 1943, played with the the O'Jays in the mid-1960s. He was not a founding member of the group that began in Canton, Ohio, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

He served in the U.S. Army for two years, including in the Vietnam War, but not much was known about his disappearance, WOIO reported.

Walter Williams, one of the original members of the O'Jays, said Little wrote songs with Eddie Levert, another one of the band's founders, according to Hendershott, who helped revive the investigation into the remains.

"Part of the mystery is over with, but we have no idea how he got there, how he disappeared or where he lived toward the end of his life," Hendershott said.

Little was last known to reside in Cleveland during the mid-1970s, WOIO reported.

"If we get anyone who knew him in life, especially in the 70′s, who he was living with, who his associates were, that would be useful information in this case," Hendershott told the station.

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